Coronavirus News from the Nat West

News in from Nat West Bank on the measures they are taking to help customers and businesses at this unprecedented time of turmoil:

We are monitoring the impact of coronavirus on all our customers to ensure we can support them appropriately through this period of disruption. We are doing everything possible to proactively reach out to our customers, especially vulnerable customers.

Dedicated support lines

Our customers over 70 and those in isolation: We have created a dedicated support line for customers over 70 and those who are in a period of isolation. This dedicated line has been set up so we can help those most in need and is open 8am-8pm 7 days a week. Those who need it can call us on:

NatWest – 0800 051 4176

Royal Bank of Scotland – 0800 051 4177

Ulster NI – 0800 092 4238

NHS Workers:  We have also set up an emergency customer care line for NHS workers. Our team of experts are ready to help with emergency banking support such as lending assistance and lost and stolen cards. This line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for our customers:

NatWest – 0800 046 2418

Royal Bank of Scotland – 0800 0466734

Ulster NI – 0800 0466778

Personal customers

There may be circumstances where a personal customer may fall into financial difficulty as a result of the impacts of coronavirus. We will look to understand each customer’s situation on a case-by-case basis and can offer a number of options to help them manage their finances. We have a range of forbearance options to assist all customers in financial difficulty and have made available the following:

  • Mortgage and loan repayment deferral for up to three months. This is available to both our residential and buy-to-let customers whose tenants are experiencing issues with their finances. We have also agreed a three-month moratorium on residential and buy-to-let possession action
  • Customers can close fixed savings accounts to access cash with no early closure charge
  • Refunds on credit card cash advance fees
  • Customers can apply for increased credit card limit
  • Customers can request an increased cash withdrawal limit of up to £500 (debit card)

Ways to Bank

Customers can continue to access their banking through a range of channels, including digital, mobile, ATMs, telephony, video banking, branches and the Post Office.

Branches

We’re doing everything we can to keep our services running for customers. Our branch network remains open and we’re prioritising core opening hours from Monday to Friday, from 10am to 1pm. Aligned to the relevant public health guidance, we have reviewed our opening hours to ensure we can cater for our colleagues who are absent, many of them self-isolating. Unfortunately, due to these reasons, we have taken the difficult decision to pause our mobile branch fleet with immediate effect. We are proactively contacting our regular customers to discuss their banking needs. Customers can continue to access their banking services through our other channels including digital, mobile, ATMs, video banker, telephony and Post Office.

This is a fast-changing situation and could potentially change quickly. Our colleagues in branches and contact centres are working incredibly hard in difficult circumstances. We’re encouraging customers not to visit a branch unless it's critical and if they do to practice safe social distancing.

We would urge customers to regularly check their local services by visiting:

 Access to Cash

There are several ways we can support customers’ cash needs – and we are working to develop more options too. Customers can use ATMs, Post Offices and can call us or log into the mobile app to get a ‘GetCash’ code, which can be used to withdraw cash without a card.

Business customers

The impacts our customers experience will vary from sector to sector, but we are being proactive in the way we support them and we are speaking to many of them about the steps they can take and the support that’s available to them. For business customers we are:

Ensuring our customers are reassured that we are here to support with £5bn additional working capital funding for SME’s through an extension of the Growth Fund:   

  • Additional lending designed to support businesses adapt to a rapidly changing external environment; and,
  • Availability of fee free loans.

We are taking part in relevant government schemes:

  • The Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBIL) for lending up to £5m is being rolled out with a streamlined approach and, where possible, minimised requirements to ensure we can support our customers as quickly as possible; and,   
  • We are also supportive of the Bank of England’s Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) and are supporting customers who wish to apply.   

 Immediate measures to support cashflow and provide additional working capital:

  • Up to 6-month Capital Repayment Holiday on variable rate lending; 
  • The granting of an overdraft or extension of existing overdraft limits; 
  • Customers can have immediate access, if required to surplus cash in their Treasury Reserve Deposit account.

 Provision of additional advice and support to customers:

  • Relationship Managers are proactively speaking to business customers offering help and support.
  • Relevant and up to date information is available on the NatWest / Royal Bank of Scotland / Ulster Bank Business Hubs (see below for links) 

Further information for our customers can be found on the:

 Colleagues:

The vast majority of our colleagues are now working from home (>40k) and we are working with governments and local authorities on planning and finding the right level of support for staff who are deemed “key workers”. We have also committed to all our staff that they will get their full pay for the next 6 months.